Garage Technology Ventures recently ran a conference called Revenue Bootcamp. The conference opened with a panel of young people ranging from high school students to recent college graduates plus an expert in youth marketing from YPulse discussing how they use the Internet—and what they are, will, or might pay for. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the reality of generating revenue from websites. Click here to watch the video. Some highlights (lowlights?):
- They hardly pay for anything. One panelist doesn’t even pay for Internet service but grabs it from an unsuspecting neighbor.
- They are not loyal to Facebook in the sense that if Facebook started charging, they would just use another service.
- The only service that the boys are willing to pay for is Xbox Live; this means that all companies have to do is create another Halo. How hard could that be? :-)
- They are remarkably enamored with Gmail and the services that comes with it. Can it be that email is the killer app of social media?
- They seldom intentionally click on any kind of advertising, and they never buy anything because of the advertising.
- They feel little obligation or guilt about getting everything for free, so if someone tells that that unless they start paying, a company/service/site will go away, it’s not going to work.
Juxtapose this panel with reports of how media moguls get together and decide that they are going to start charging for content and services. Once they get off their private planes, the moguls will have to tell the young people what to do—how hard could that be? In any case, this video provides great insights into the challenge of monetizing young people on the Internet. The lesson is that it doesn’t matter what a company “needs;” it only matter what customers are willing to do.